ERIM Research Seminar in Financial Management: Is Political Risk Compay-Specific? The Market Side of the Yukos Affair
The Yukos affair, a state-led assault on controlling shareholders of a private Russian oil company, once again demonstrated the shaky nature of property rights in emerging markets. Toughening of the state policy towards business implied higher company-specific political risk and was immediately reflected in lower stock prices. Among private companies, the risk appeared especially high for non-transparent companies, oil companies, and companies privatized via the ill-famous loans-for-shares auctions. Surprisingly, transparent state-owned companies were also very sensitive to Yukos events. This evidence suggests that investors seriously consider risks of tax and privatization review for private companies and inefficient government interference for state-owned ones.